City Launches Snow Plow Site

The site, launching Tuesday, lets Chicagoans track some 300 trucks through city neighborhoods

Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012  |  Updated 9:01 PM CDT
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ChicagoShovels.org ets Chicagoans track some 300 trucks through city neighborhoods.

ChicagoShovels.org ets Chicagoans track some 300 trucks through city neighborhoods.

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Chicago's snow history is a storied one filled with placeholder "dibs," plow gripes and the constant threat of more snow in the forecast.

Ahead of what's still anticipated to be a treacherously snow-filled and frigid winter, Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced ChicagoShovels.org, a real-time plow tracker activated during storms.

The site, launched Tuesday, lets Chicagoans track some 300 trucks through city neighborhoods.

It's a public answer to mid-storm Streets & San inquires about when certain streets are next to be plowed and why some roads seemingly take longer to be cleared than others.

After last winter's third largest snowstorm in Chicago history, Emanuel is banking on people wanting to know.

"We're working to keep streets clear and government transparent," the site intro reads. "You can watch as snow clearing efforts start with the major streets then move to side streets to keep Chicago moving."

The site has a spot to join a "snow corps" program that connects volunteers with seniors and residents with disabilities in need of snow removal. Chicago-based apps are provided, as well, that alert drivers about winter parking bans and reconnect owners with their towed vehicles.

Residents eventually will also be able to "adopt a sidewalk" to claim portions of city streets in need of shoveling.

Last year, Emanuel was among the mayoral candidates who hit the street for snow-shoveling photo ops after the blizzard. He also requested a blizzard preparedness report that ultimately criticized the city's storm response.
 

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